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Stoddert Elementary School Recycles!

Two children and one adult working looking at compost bins

Stoddert Elementary School Recycles!

By Brooke Hartman, Schools Outreach Specialist

DGS is proud to share this DCPS Recycles! Honor Roll Success Story from Stoddert Elementary School!

As one of the organics collection pilot schools, Stoddert Elementary School created a collection program that made sense for their school and informed the design and implementation in other DCPS schools next year. Stoddert is a model composting school, bridging classroom curriculum with cafeteria protocol, engaging community and parent involvement, and encouraging a variety of staff participation.

Kealy Rudersdorf, the school’s Garden Coordinator, has spear-headed this program at Stoddert. Prior to the start of the program she gave a brief composting lesson to each class, explaining the decomposition process and how students should separate their waste in the cafeteria once the program started. She also demonstrates composting on-site in their school garden using a large outdoor compost bin. At the beginning of the program, she coordinated parent volunteers that monitored collections the first few weeks of the new program as they phased the new program in by grade level, and later ensured clean organics collections with the help of the student Green Team.

Stoddert’s success has resulted from this connection of the compost to curriculum combined with the coordination of all essential members of the program, including the custodial staff who maintained exemplary collection throughout the program, the kitchen staff who separated food scraps and broke down cardboard boxes for recycling, and the supportive school administration, faculty, parents, staff, and students. Thank you Stoddert Elementary School, for your patience, cooperation, and outstanding participation in our organics collection pilot!